Fumbling our way into month four

We’re entering our fourth month of consumer free living so, once again, I’m checking in to see how we’re doing:

Q: Have we saved money?
A: Still doing okay in this department. We had a few extra fun activities this month (but they involved no environmental impact other than gas) and several birthday gifts we had to purchase (movie passes are my new gift for all ages and occassions). I’d say we’re about $500 below our average for the month–not too shabby (well, we might be looking shabby, but our bank account is looking pretty good).

Q: Will we create less garbage?
A: I’m still obsessing over little scraps of paper, and it’s paying off. Yet I’m appalled at the amount of paper waste we continue to create. Even if I’m recycling it, am I really just passing on the responsibility to someone else? I recently read that the United States sends quite a bit of recycling overseas. What the hell are the Chinese going to do with it? Do we really think they’re models of environmental responsibility?

Q: Will the kids learn from this experiment?
A: My 5 year old now gets it–don’t ask mom for stuff, ask grandma. But I have heard her share a few nuggets of wisdom with her brother about want vs. need, and she still hasn’t spent her allowance money.

Q: Will we cheat?
A: Well, I did buy flowers for the pots on our deck (despite shameful looks and comments from Carter). And I must fess up that I attended the Whimsical Women Art Show in Chapel Hill yesterday, and all of that whimsy went to my head. I purchased a few super cool things from my super cool artist/sister, Paige (Lulugroove). In addition to her dolls, Paige is now making re-purposed clothes out of vintage items — she calls it good fashion for the Earth. And most items were gifts (well, except for the apron that I just couldn’t pass up because she printed the quote “Woman’s Rule of Thumb: If it has tires or testicles, it’s going to give you trouble” on the pocket. Apparently I have a weakness for humorous kitchen attire.

Other than these exceptions, we’ve been true to our pledge and hope to keep it up. We’ve had our highs (saving money; old, not-seen-in-awhile clothes are new again; more quality time with kids) and our lows (lip pencil fiasco; feelings of depression and deprivation; minor marital scraps). Keep sending the no-shopping vibes our way–we’re only half way there!

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